Tuesday, December 30, 2014

12/19/14 Day 337 A Small Climb at Phra Nang Beach: Railay, Thailand

It is hard to believe it wasn't until our third day at Railay that we ventured to Phra Nang beach. The sand is ultra-fine white powder against a craggy drooping limestone stalactite backdrop. Across a coral-littered sandbar constructed causeway lies an islet composed of caves and heaps more limestone. The beach is infinitely more scenic than the three surrounding options: Ton Sai, Railay East and Railay West-although the secret is out and there were enough people to substantiate the beauty of this beach. To get there we had to walk from Ton Sai through the beach trail to West Railay and from there across the length of the beach up and around to Railay East, continuing down the peninsula between the two Railay beaches. On the way we came across the viewpoint trail, a muddy wall of earth-toned clay that beckoned us straight upwards along the secure ropes, well worn hand holds and foot molded root loops. We scrambled up the steep face in a matter of only ten minutes leaving us just another 100 meters to reach the viewpoint and we were rewarded with a view of the entire Railay backdrop. We decided to continue the journey down into the lagoon, a more difficult climb down a sheer wall guided by the aid of the necessary guardian ropes. We were able to lift ourselves down the three sections of rock and into the lagoon. The natural skylight pierced through the darkness onto our mud slathered bare feet while we soaked up the sunshine. Heading back up we pulled ourselves up the last ledge to a group of people who had been nervously debating the decision to descend. They couldn't believe we did it barefoot and in bikinis-it is the only way to do it if you want less dirty laundry. We sauntered back to the beach where we scrubbed the mud off of our bodies and feeling accomplished, enjoyed the dull ache in our arms. Watching the sun push the clouds into the sea for an epic sunset was the icing on the cake, for our last day at Railay the weather has been phenomenal! 

Looking out to the islet off of Phra Nang beach
Magnificent limestone forms

An ancient legend of the Cave of the Maiden Princess recommends locals leave phallic offerings to ensure safe passage on the sea

The viewpoint and lagoon trail
It is more vertical than it looks
Gorgeous viewpoint of Railay Bay

Now for the muddy part, the hike down to the lagoon
Totally worth the workout
Myself and Julie, striking a pose in the natural limelight

Julie and I climbing up
We made it there and back no scrapes just muddy

Looking back from the islet to Phra Nang beach

Another longtail ride to catch our ferry to Phi Phi island

The Ao Nang Princess

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